Nothing much happened yesterday, mainly I just chilled in bed and was as lazy as I could possibly be. Given that the point of vacation is to unwind, I have absolutely no guilt in doing so. Haha! But! Today I went downtown, to meet Valerie, one of my best friends from Cal. She works in Nagoya, and she came all the way to Kyoto to see me and the Town Mouse and Jennifer (another one of my besties <3)!
We were going to keep it pretty low-key actually, but the afternoon and evening ended up being accidentally awesome. We stopped at Shakeys Pizza near Sanjo and Teramachi for an early dinner, which was a pretty nice buffet style pizza place. The selection was small, but it was good food! I'd never eaten there before, but apparently they're quite common in southern California.
Afterwards, we made our way over to the Movix Eigakan, Sanjo's movie theater complex, and got tickets to a movie I've been wanting to see ever since I saw the poster: "Thermae Romae," the story of a Roman bath enthusiast who is transported to the future and deposited in various Japanese style baths and restrooms. He uses what he learns in the future to improve baths in the past. It was really, really funny in the beginning, though it kind of dragged towards the end... a little too long. All the same, it was refreshing to watch a Japanese movie that wasn't tragic, and with a very underscored romantic element that wasn't forced. I liked it a lot, and would probably watch it again. It's a solid B-movie, but one of the better Japanese mainstream movies I've seen in a while.
After the movie, we were going to go chill along the Kamo, but when we got there, there was a man practicing fire-dancing! He was already mid-show when we got there, so we decided to sit down and watch for a while. I have a lot of respect for people who do this sort of entertainment, and they are rather common in this area of town. You can find dancers, musicians, magicians, acrobats and dare-devils of all flavors. A student of mine said she saw a monkey on stilts the other day. Here's a short video of the show:
His name was Yosuke. Sorry the video is so choppy... I haven't quite figured out the zoom on my camera... be sure you view it in the highest quality!
Afterwards, we finally headed home. Tomorrow, we're off to Uji with Jennifer too! I'm really excited!